Written by David Greenwalt, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, co-starring Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter and Anthony Stewart Head, featuring Mark Metcalf, David Boreanaz, Kristine Sutherland and Julie Benz, also with Andrew J. Ferchland and Charles Wesley.
This episode is an important one because we finally discover who this guy is that shows up out of nowhere to warn Buffy against dark dangers. He is a vampire. But, in the teaser, we see the Master sending three armed vampires (the Three) to annihilate the Slayer and he saves her life. So the question is: “What changed?” as Buffy rightly asks him near the end. Vampires are “vicious and violent animals” according to Giles, and Angel was one of the most vicious and most violent of them all, but then why does he all of a sudden stop feeding on humans, save a Vampire Slayer’s life, and falls in love with his worst enemy??? Why does he fight the very evil that is within him??? Because “somebody has to.” But most of all, because he was cursed by the Romany gypsies with a soul, a conscience, that makes him regret all the people he has killed, all the things he’s done.
The idea of vengeance is very present in “Angel”. Darla wants revenge against Buffy because she has killed so many of her family and because Angel, who used to be her lover, is now in love with her, and Angel wants revenge against the monster inside him that killed his family, friends, and everyone he met “with a song in my heart”. Buffy wants revenge against Angel because she believes he has bitten her mother (before she discovers Darla’s trickery). It is a complex, well-thought of episode that is central to the Buffy—Angel relationship. A clever way to bring back Angel’s past to haunt him.
On another level (literally), we see the Master continuing the Anointed’s training. We also learn that Collin (the Anointed) is going to play a major role in the bringing about of the Master’s delivery because of the Master saying that “with power, comes responsibility”.
On a lighter note, the quarterstaff scene with Buffy and Giles is simply rib-cracking and shows that they have already come to the point where the student surpasses the teacher. The same goes for Collin and the Master during the end of the episode.
20th Century Fox Television and Mutant Enemy Inc., Kuzui Enterprises and Sandollar Television.
Next time: "I Robot, You Jane".